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Try These Conservative Treatments for TMJ Pain

I have Jaw Pain and Headaches - Advanced Dental Associates

If you’re one of the many millions of people who suffer from TMJ pain, then you understand how debilitating this condition can be. Advanced Dental Associates wants you to know that there are several conservative treatments for TMJ pain that you can try at home. However, if none of them work for you, we offer effective, comfortable solutions for TMJ pain in our San Antonio dentist office.

Call us today if you have questions about TMJ treatment: 210-819-5233. We’ll get you the answers and help you need to feel better soon!

Learn About Your TMJ

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located and on either side of your head, connecting your jaw to your skull. These joints – comprised of bone, cartilage, muscle, and ligament – allow your lower jaw to open and close and move from side to side.

The TMJ can become irritated, inflamed, or dislocated, causing you significant discomfort when talking or chewing. You may also hear a popping noise when opening and closing your mouth, notice redness or swelling in your face or jaw, or have unexplained headaches. While researchers don’t know the exact causes of TMJ pain, they may include teeth grinding, injury, arthritis, stress, and jaw clenching.

Experiment With These Methods

Here are some at-home approaches you can try for your TMJ discomfort. If one doesn’t work by itself, try two or more of them in combination.

Soft foods

Try to eat foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Think mashed potatoes, yogurt, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, soup, etc.. Avoid chewy, crunchy, or hard foods like raw carrots, hard rolls, caramel candy, pretzels, and similar foods. Also, stay away from large foods or any kind of food that requires you to open your mouth wide. Cut your food into smaller pieces whenever possible.

Regimen of Moist Heat, Exercise, and Ice

Many TMJ pain sufferers have discovered relief through this simple regimen repeated several times a day.

  • Apply warm heat to the sides of your face for about 10 minutes.
  • Do this stretching exercise: put your thumb under your upper front teeth; then place two fingers of your other hand over your front bottom teeth; gently stretch your jaws apart with your fingers without using your jaw muscles.
  • Apply ice packs to both sides of your face for about five minutes.

If this combination doesn’t give you relief, try reversing the order by applying ice first.

NSAIDs

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can often help relieve pain and reduce swelling from your irritated TMJ. Try aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for relief. Be sure to follow the dosage directions on the package.

Apply These Tips For TMJ Relief

Here are a few other tips to help keep TMJ discomfort to a minimum:

  • Try to yawn and chew as little as possible to help keep your TMJ relaxed. In particular, avoid chewing ice and gum. When yawning, place your fist under your chin and push up to keep your jaw from opening too wide.
  • Don’t yell, sing, or do anything else that requires you to open your jaw wider than necessary.
  • Avoid holding your phone between your shoulder and ear.
  • Don’t rest your chin in your hands.
  • Try to sleep on your back instead of your stomach.
  • Be conscious of the position of your jaw. Try to keep your teeth apart to reduce pressure on your TMJ. Avoid grinding your teeth.

Get Relief With Our treatment

We hope that these conservative, at-home methods will give you relief from you TMJ discomfort. However, if you have tried these and are still in pain, Advanced Dental Associates can give you the much-needed relief you need.

Our team will fit you with a custom mouthguard you wear while sleeping. If your symptoms are more severe we may recommend wearing it during the day as well. Your mouthguard will gently adjust your jaw position to ease pressure on your TMJ. It will also eliminate teeth grinding and help prevent damage to your teeth from excessive wear.

Call us today at 210-819-5233 if you haven’t gotten relief from conservative treatments for TMJ pain. We can help!

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